Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A License to Read

My husband and I where having a conversation the other day about getting our first Library Cards. My husband made the comment "I thought I was so cool, it was like I'd been given a license to read." Once I finished laughing I couldn't help but agree.

It's funny, but I still see my library card as a precious possession. I mean, I can read a lot more becasue I don't have to buy every book on my wishlist (though I sometimes dream about being able to do so, it just isn't possible in a stay-at-home mom's budget.)

The great thing about living in a small town is that I can often reserve very popular books online. Since not many people in my town know how to use that system, I can get the book as soon as whoever has it decides to turn it in. I only wait about three days to get the newest books that other library's have hundreds of holds on.

The downside to living in a little town is that they don't always have the books that I want. And I'm pretty sure the ladies at the front desk are sick of me requesting books. Still, I'm grateful for what I can get.

Sometimes I feel like my neighbors don't even know how great our library is. Maybe I should run a campaign to get more people reading. (but then would I get my books as fast?)

I guess the point is, too many people think they don't have the money to read, or the time to visit a library. But with the internet that's just not true. If my little town has an online holding system, I guarantee other towns have similar things. My state also has on an online audiobook library which I totally love.

Reading doesn't have to take a hit becasue of feeble excuses. As an author it worries me how little people use libraries. It's like that high of getting your first license to read has totally worn off, when it shouldn't.

So here's the challenge to my author friends. Go to your library and look for a book you'd like to read. If they don't have it, request it so more authors can get onto the shelves.

Here's the challenge for those who aren't authors, get a library card and read!

It's pretty simple, our libraries need us and we need them. Plus it you never know what gems you'll find sitting on the shelf that you might have missed otherwise. Reading is good for the soul.

Do you use your library? Have you given your children a license to read?

25 comments:

Cristina said...

I'm positive my librarians think I'm crazy. I'm there every other week to pick up stacks of books, and most I request on line because my town has the world's smallest library (about the size of my kitchen. I have a small kitchen.)

my 5 y.o has a license to read and he LOVES to use. He's such a littler reader!

Steph Sessa said...

I love the library! I feel like most people my age tend to just buy books, but I can't afford to buy everything I want to read either. I have two library cards (one for my city, and one for the suburb my mom lives in which is really close) so I have access to two libraries! Requesting online is a must since the suburban library has a bigger selection and I don't get there often (and instead, bribe my mom to go pick up my books!)

Angela V. Cook said...

I LOVE my library! If they don't have a book I want, they'll borrow it from a nearby library, and I usually have it in my hands within days. The same thing with "holds." I don't have to wait for the library's copy to come back; they can borrow it from one of the other neighboring libraries :)

David P. King said...

I love libraries. I've made it a goal that if I ever managed to become a full-time writer, I'd go to the library and pick a spot for the day, every day, like going to the office. Not sure if the librarians would like that, but we'll see. :)

Sarah said...

Libraries seem magical to me. I probably get that from my mom, who was a librarian, and I'm sure it stems from the fact that my favorite genre when I got my first library card was fantasy. It feels like so much potential excitement is waiting for me on the shelves that trying to pick from them makes me overwhelmed (how I feel in candy stores too).

When I was in high school I usually left with more books than I could read in the allotted time. I've improved over the years. Now I can narrow it down to two: one fiction, the other a reference of some kind.

In short, libraries are awesome. I should probably get the eldest her own card too.

Sarah McCabe said...

Until recently my husband worked at our local library. Which meant that anything checked out on his card we could keep indefinitely without getting any fines. (Oh how I will miss that.) I basically got all my books from the library. All I had to do was call him up and say "Can you bring home ____?" It was great.

Now that he doesn't work there we'll have to get our daughter set up with her own card and try to make regular visits.

Kaylee Baldwin said...

I live in a small town as well, and I take my kids to the library once a week, so we know the librarians well. I love it--and even though they're small, they can always get in the books I want.

On a side note, this summer, someone asked me for my social security number and I totally blanked on it. So my husband, laughing, says, "Tell them your library card #" and I rattled off that 15 digit number like it was nothing. Priorities, right?

i'm erin. said...

I think my problem is i read too much. And now that I've found how easy it is to buy books on my laptop, I spend way too much time reading. I love my library card and I'm on the library board!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I love my library and am fortunate to have one of the best in the state. I love that place!

Carol Kilgore said...

Wonderful post! Our town has a great library, too. And those who may remember a stuffy old building from when they were kids, libraries have grown up, too. Try one. You'll love it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I admit I haven't visited our library in a while. Of course, at the moment my iPad is overflowing with books, so I'm not lacking for reading material.

Carrie-Anne said...

I love my libraries, and how many there are in my area. I'd love to go to some of the other local libraries I haven't been to yet, since there are so many of them in about a 20-mile radius. When I lived in the Berkshires, there were also some very nice libraries nearby, particularly the ones in smaller towns. Those libraries were in old buildings and more like houses, which I just loved.

Suzanne Furness said...

Must confess I don't get to the library as often as I would like. With cutbacks the hours they are open have been reduced but have a half term break coming up so will definitely go then.

prerna pickett said...

i love that my library networks with all the other libraries in the area so if they don't have the book i want they'll request it from another one.

Kelley Lynn said...

I don't use my library nearly enough. I must start doing this.

Thing with me is... I do most of my reading when I travel and for that I have my Nook. Yes, you can get ebooks through the library but I don't live in a small town so I have to wait MONTHS to get the books I want on ebook.

Perhaps I'll just have to go back to the good ol' fashion way of borrowing books :)

Jeigh said...

I love my library, and I love the online reserving! My library card is in a place of honor in my wallet, right next to my driver's license :)

Mandi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mandi said...

I'm pretty lucky to have a fantastic Library! They normally get about 75% of current releases in YA books and if you're there soon enough, it's like you get first pickin' of a bookstore! They carry most of the newest DVDs too! I mean, it beats Redbox and Netflix!

It really does stink when some smaller Libraries get bad raps because of funds. I never take the one I have for granted! Mind you, NOTHING beats the New York Public Library though. That place is like a shiny gateway to heaven!

Samantha May said...

My dad lives across the street from a library. When I stayed with him during the summer I practically lived in the library more than my house. I think if more people were aware of just how beneficial libraries are then they would be more inclined to use them.

Anthony Dutson said...

One treat I discovered was the inter-library loan system. I got a book from a library in Topica, Kansas!

Maybe with a smaller library they have something like this...

Tara Tyler said...

we buy then donate older books
i took them when they were younger.
now i look at it wistfully as i pass it...need to go for myself, it would be cheaper!

Jenny S. Morris said...

Going to the library is the only way I am able to read everything I want to. (Well, I never get to everything I want.) And my kids seemed just as excited as your husband was when they got their first cards.

Sherry Ellis said...

I definitely use the library to read! I do so much research for my own writing, that it would just be too expensive if I had to purchase all the books.

Mark Noce said...

Ditto, my wife and I love our library cards. Except she borrows mine a lot and every time I check something out it says I have several Romance books overdue...(shrug)

Gwen Gardner said...

Oh, I thought I was pretty cool with my first library card, too. I haven't been to the library in a while, since I can download on my Kindle pretty cheaply. But I sort of miss it, really:)